Being an inbound marketing specialist these days is a fantastic position to be in. You have a skill set that is sought after, and you can find a job as a freelancer and work for yourself if you want to.
But no matter how good you are, there are many obstacles to finding the right job:
- Lots of other marketers out there competing for the attention of potential employers.
- No unified certification program to prove what you are worth.
- Clients not willing to pay for what you are worth.
- Marketing people who are scared you are taking their job.
- Cultural differences that make cooperating tough.
- Different timezone.
- ... and the list goes on.
The goal, of course, is to find someone who will value your work, who is not threatened by your success and who is willing to pay you accordingly.
As Guy Kawasaki always says: You need to find the A Player, because A players hire A+ player!
The good new is that nowadays, there are many ways for you to get the attention of well-qualified clients: freelancing websites, inbound marketing communities, even creating an inbound campaign for yourself. Here are the ten ways that we have found most effective:
Take The Inbound Certification
This should be the first step you do if you aren't already certified. While there is not a single unified vendor-agnostic certification out there, this is a pretty darn good one. Taking the test is free and open to everyone, so there is no excuse not to take it.
Having the certification shows that you are knowledgeable about the basics of Inbound and are familiar with HubSpot as an excellent marketing software. Plus you get a shiny new badge you can put into your LinkedIn profile, email signature etc., like this one.
For example, ALL employees at 3P Creative Group are Inbound Certified.
Create Yourself A Profile on Inbound.org
Inbound.org is the world's largest community for inbound marketers with more than 62,000 marketers online. The community is strictly monitored for spam and quality to ensure that their members get value out of their contributions there.
If you are looking to land an inbound marketing job with one of the thousands of HubSpot partner agencies or customers, you should create a free profile. Make sure, you add an updated and accurate bio and add your skill sets and your certifications! (like the Inbound certification)
You can even add a portfolio, your Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, etc.
Set Your Job Search Setting To Actively Looking
Once you have created yourself a profile, you should set your job search settings to "Actively Looking".
To do that, navigate to "Edit Profile", click on settings in the gray top navigation bar and choose job settings. Make sure to include the job categories you are looking in and pick the job type and seniority level if needed.
Include Keywords Into Your LinkedIn Profile
Amazingly enough, if you search in LinkedIn for a "freelance inbound marketer", you don't get a lot of hits. In fact, as of this article being written, you only get one. That's right, just one.
So make sure, you polish up your LinkedIn profile and write about your freelance experience as an inbound marketer in your summary.
Be Cautious On The Big Freelance Sites
As a freelancer, you probably have a profile on at least one freelance website like elance, freelancer, guru, etc. Be careful with getting caught up with these sites, as you will be competing with people from all over the world who are willing to sell their services for much less than what you need to make to just pay the rent - not to mention healthcare, food, etc.
You will also not find quality clients, let alone a quality future employer.
If you have to, try more niche sites like hourlynerd.com where you have a better chance of being found by someone who is looking for a particular type of person (the client who knows who they are looking for tend to have a better understanding of what the value of that work is).
Actively Participate In LinkedIn Groups
Joining an inbound marketing LinkedIn group is easy, even if it is private. Actively engaging in that group shows a level of involvement and passion about inbound. Also, if you can impress members of the group with answers to questions, useful tips etc., and make it known you are a freelancer, it could lead to some work discussions.
Create An Inbound Marketing Campaign
Remember the story about how a bored copywriter got his dream job at a creative ad agency using a clever Google Adwords campaign that cost him $6?
Well, why not do the inbound equivalent? If you don't have a website already, create one. Make landing and thank you pages, forms, follow up emails. Social media posts, etc.
Not only does this campaign have the possibility of getting yourself some jobs, it shows your knowledge and execution of inbound marketing. If your work is good, you've already sold yourself.
Do Pro Bono Work For A Great Cause
If you have a favorite charity, religious institution or your child's school, offer your services for free. Maybe they have a major fundraising or awareness event that you can create an Inbound campaign for also to their traditional marketing.
This will again be a way to show off your work, but also what causes you care about. And if you can get a backlink from them for the free work you gave, everybody wins.
Pack Your Bags To #Inbound2015
If there is one conference to go to about inbound, it is Inbound2015. With thousands of HubSpot partner agencies and customers all packed into the Boston Convention Center, you are bound to bump elbows with dozens of potential job opportunities.
Sure, it is not exactly cheap to go to Inbound, between the conference, hotel and travel costs, but hey you can always get yourself a drink at Cheers, maybe you'll see me there.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot. He said that he has a running list of outstanding marketers he is interested in hiring. Every single opportunity he meets people he keeps this list in the back of his mind.
So, go to networking groups, HubSpot User Groups, and marketing meet-ups in your area to talk to people. Start build connections. They might not have any work for you now, but down the road, they might prove to be a valuable source of new leads.
These are just ten ways how to stand out when looking for a new inbound marketing freelance gig. Which of these are you willing to try? Have you found a different one particularly useful that we have not mentioned?
And, of course, please consider looking at our career page for new jobs!